Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Chain
When one of your friends heads off to a faraway land and sends you a letter every week, it's not the same as them being there with you, but it sure is comforting to have them around, so-to-speak. It's like that, only not as desperate sounding.
After the four-part arc we just read through for the past few months, this is the first standalone issue of the season 8 comics. The first time I read this book I was interrupted and had to come back to it another day, which confused the hell out of me. Do yourself a favor and read this cover-to-cover the first time around. I know, it's a huge chore being so wordy and all.
After I read this issue the second time (and fully), it made a lot more sense to me. We're finally getting some depth to some of the newly anointed slayers, even though this particular one winds up dead. I have to imagine that, in the coming issues, we'll get a lot more of this. It's quite something to realize that at least the majority of these new slayers are openly willing to act upon their duty or at least learn more about it.
I'm not sure so much about the whole faerie/slug aspect of the underworld, as that's really nothing like anything we've seen before in the Buffyverse. I think it was a bit hokey, even though the best line of the issue came from it (see at the end of this review.) First giant Dawn, then this. Some of it is hard to swallow, isn't it? Yeah, I know, like vampires and demons are any easier to believe.
I think the idea of "The Chain" is that each of these slayers still exists connected to what would have been a sort-of lineage chain that has since been fully exposed. What I mean is, if Faith were to have died, another slayer was the next link in a hidden chain, to be activated upon her death. Imagine that chain fully unhidden, but each of them is attached in a line. At least that's the way I see it, and I wonder if that sort of thing will be more revealed and be a cause of problems with all the slayers should they realize their position in this chain.
Despite the faeries, slugs and lack of any Scoobs other than Giles, this could have made for a decent TV episode. The next issue comes out September 5, and it's Faith-centric!
Quote of the issue:
Slug King: "You pass the test. The last one to fall this far, years ago, he gave us your language. And this pretty necklace, because he didn't pass."